'Want to get him fast-tracked': Watts claims Arsenal insiders can't stop raving about 'hugely talented' 17yo
Charles Watts has claimed that “lots of people” at Arsenal have been raving about academy talent Lino Sousa.
The Gunners signed the 17-year-old in the January transfer window, bringing him to north London from West Brom.
Sousa made an immediate impact at age level for Arsenal, playing for both the Under-18s and the Under-23s.
Indeed, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta promoted the left-back to first-team training on a couple of occasions last term.
This week, the Gunners published their retained list. To the surprise of many, they opted to let Joel Lopez go.
In his four years at Arsenal, Lopez played 68 times for the club’s youth sides.
He caught the eye of many on plenty of occasions and some had tipped him to become a future first-teamer.
Back in February last year, The Sun branded him as Jordi Alba 2.0.
They claimed he’s ‘in the mould’ of the Barcelona defender, who was one of the best left-backs in the world during his prime.
“Made a big, big impression”
Watts believes Arsenal’s decision to offload Lopez is to enable Sousa to become an U23s regular.
“I think the main reason for (Arsenal letting Lopez go) is probably Lino Sousa,” he said on his YouTube channel.
“(He) made a big, big impression in the second half of the season, really hugely talented player.
“Lots of people at the club rave about him when you speak to them about how good this kid is.
“I imagine a big reason for Lopez being let go is that it’s going to free up the space at left-back for Sousa.
“Although he’s only 17 and can still play for the Under-18s, I think, judging by how good he’s been and how highly-rated he is, they want to get him fast-tracked plenty of minutes for the Under-23s as soon as possible.